Natalie signs full-time contract with England

England's Natalie Haythornthwaite (right) and Australia's Elizabeth Watson during the third international series match at The Copper Box, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 24, 2016. See PA story NETBALL England. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
England's Natalie Haythornthwaite (right) and Australia's Elizabeth Watson during the third international series match at The Copper Box, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 24, 2016. See PA story NETBALL England. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.

Barrowford’s Natalie Haythornthwaite is one of five players signed by England Netball on full-time contracts ahead of the Quad Series next month.

The Manchester Thunder star has joined Eleanor Cardwell, Jodie Gibson, Laura Malcolm and Kadeen Corbin, on top of 10 other athletes who were previously added to the programme at Loughborough last month.

The initial 10 were Rebekah Airey, Summer Artman, Beth Cobden, George Fisher, Leah Kennedy, Natalie Panagarry, Jess Shaw, Sasha Corbin, Hannah Joseph and Ella Clark.

The Roses are preparing for the Quad Series, which is hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

England, currently ranked third in the world, have finished third in the last two tournaments and are aiming to reach the final at the next World Cup in August.

In May, Natalie helped England Roses win the Netball Europe Open competition in Newcastle, beating Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Voted Netball Superleague player of the year in 2015, she has enjoyed another impressive campaign, having joined Thunder from Yorkshire Jets.

Thunder finished top of the Netball Superleague, losing only once in the regular season, only to suffered defeat agaiunst Surrey Storm in the Grand Final dat the Copper Box.